The news was announced today from the Australian Classification Board that Saints Row IV cannot be sold in Australia and was the first computer game in Australia to be Refused Classification under the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games that commenced on 1 January 2013
The Acting Director of the Classification Board Mr Donald McDonald confirmed:
The Classification Board classified the game RC (Refused Classification) in accordance with item 1(a) of the National Classification Code and in accordance with the computer games guidelines.
In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context. In addition, the game includes elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards. Such depictions are prohibited by the computer games guidelines.
Mr McDonald said the Classification Board had now been applying the new computer games guidelines for almost six months and this was the first game to be refused classification.
“Apart from today’s decision, since the beginning of the year, the Board has classified 17 games R 18+ under the new guidelines,” Mr McDonald said.
When making decisions about computer games, the Classification Board must use the criteria set out in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games Act) 1995, the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.
The new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games came into effect on 1 January 2013. Prior to then, Australia did not have an adult category for computer games. An application to classify Saints Row IV was received by the Classification Board on 13 May 2013